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by Linda Richman
Time Warner Audio Books, 2001
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Feb 21st 2002

I'd Rather Laugh

Linda Richman reads her audiobook with gusto, and she needs to, because there is not much in her words to really educate her listeners.  The basic message is that even though she has gone through some awful times, she has survived, and you can too.  This is not really going to help many people, so the main reason to listen to the book is for entertainment value.  Richman certainly has had her share of troubles: her father died young, her mother was depressed and highly critical, she had agoraphobia that confined her to her house for 11 years, and her son died in an automobile accident.  Her biggest claim to fame is that she is the mother-in-law of Mike Myers, and he copied for her for his “Linda Richman” character on Saturday Night Live.  You may have seen her on the Rosie O’Donnell TV show.  She now lectures regularly at the Canyon Ranch Spa, giving advice to people about how to overcome their problems.

            The audiobook is an abridged version of the book, but unless you are a big fan, I expect that you will find it quite enough.  Her messages, such as that you need to be able to laugh at other people and yourself, and that you need to give yourself time to feel awful when you are feeling down, get pretty tired fairly soon.  She’s a survivor, and she does what she needs to do to survive, but she is not a very sympathetic character, by her own admission.  Her story of how she came to hit her mother on the say that she told her mother that her sister was dead shows what state the family was in, and how troubled her relationship with her mother was, but it doesn’t make you like her any more.  There’s no denying that Linda Richman is quite a character, but she doesn’t make me want to take any advice from her.